State Authorization

What is State Authorization?

State authorization refers to the process through which educational institutions comply with the state authorization regulations and requirements of each state in which they operate. This is particularly relevant for institutions offering online or distance education programs, as they may enroll students from different states. The goal of state authorization is to ensure that educational institutions meet the standards set by each state's regulatory bodies, promoting the quality of education and safeguarding the interests of students. Compliance with state authorization is crucial for legal operation and to maintain the integrity of education across various geographical locations.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) allow participating colleges and universities to offer distance education programs and activities to students residing in member states without having to individually obtain approval or authorization from each state to operate. 

Virginia is approved as a member state of SARA.  The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is the portal entity that has been established by SARA for the state of Virginia. SCHEV is responsible for overseeing the participation of eligible Virginia institutions in SARA and granting authority to out-of-state institutions to operate in Virginia according to the terms of SARA. 

VCU has been approved by SCHEV to participate in SARA.

To learn more about NC-SARA, please visit Information regarding Virginia SARA is available at